Today we’d like to introduce you to Paquita Hughes.
Paquita, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I began my film journey while serving in the US Navy overseas in Sicily, Italy, enrolled in an online program at Academy of Art University. I had hit the glass ceiling working as an Air Traffic Controller and was unhappy and unfulfilled. Even though I had a steady paycheck and I was living and traveling all over the world, I wasn’t passionate about my job. After a few years of taking online courses I was motivated to experience the real thing. I finished my contract and headed to LA with tons of savings and a plan. Through the use of the Montgomery GI Bill/ Yellow Ribbon program, I was afforded the opportunity to enroll into several more film schools while receiving a housing allowance to survive LA rent prices. I attended New York Film Academy-Universal Studios and Los Angeles Film School, where I earned my Associates of Science in Motion Picture & Television degree. I hustled during my time as a student taking both unpaid and low paid gigs.
I worked as an Intern a few times on projects such as ‘Comedy Bang Bang!’ to the filming of the intro to Discovery ID’s ‘Swamp Murders’ and worked on a variety of crews ranging from union to non-union, low budget music videos for independent artists for Ms. Krayzie as well as mainstream artists such as G-Eazy, and independent feature films such as ‘Chocolate City’. I networked and built relationships with several creatives who would later become great collaborators in my career. After several years of hustling on non-union gigs, I earned a membership into one of the strongest unions in the country, Teamsters Local 399, as a Location Scout/Manager. I was hired to scout and manage locations for NCIS:LA, Grey’s Anatomy, Marvel Runaway’s and more! I then decided to legitimize my production company, Rock Violet Motion and start creating projects of my own as well as content by other artists who are looking for greater opportunities to expand their creative catalog.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road but I have overcome every obstacle that I have faced because I didn’t give up. I think back to the moment I was living overseas doing a job that was so challenging, it was considered one of the top five careers that led to suicide, and during a time of war. I’ve successfully navigated two branches of the armed forces serving my country during two periods of war in the US Army and US Navy. Each time I accomplish a goal, it fuels me to go after the next. Each obstacle getting bigger. I had an unplanned pregnancy while working a dead-end nine to five job, barely making ends meet. After giving birth to my daughter and surviving a whole rotation around the sun, I had proven to myself that I had the strength and was ready to be a serious business owner. It was a goal that was now bigger than me. I had to accomplish this goal, my legacy depended on it.
Please tell us about Rock Violet Motion.
Rock Violet Motion is a boutique production company that provides professional and quality photographic, videography & film/media production services, tailored to each client. We value creative individuality and understand that each client’s style will be different making us passionate about every project, be it stills or motion. It’s helmed by myself and my Co-CEO, Chloe Mondesir, who earned her position after working seamlessly beside me on our first official production for the company. ‘Jacks’, our first short film production, written/directed by first time Director, Chloe Mondesir who also performed in the film alongside her daughter, Nylah Mondesir, who played the lead character. It’s a period piece set in rural Texas in the early 1950’s and we were working with minors. It was her very first script therefore a huge challenge for me as the producer but trusted the process and remained open to the advice and guidance she was given along the way and we made a great film that had its world premiere at the 2019 Los Angeles International Short Film Festival.
We were lucky to involve some industry buddies of ours and cast both Gail Bean, known for HBO’s Insecure, FX’s Snowfall and BET’s The Games People Play and Ron G, an up and coming comedian known also for HBO’s Insecure and Nickelodeon’s Cousins For Life. We held auditions for the co-lead role and was blessed with the talented Skylar Dominique, a true rising star! The success of our first short film is definitely opening doors for our upcoming projects. We have some exciting things bubbling in the pipeline from passion projects to feature film and tv series that are all gaining attention from the likes of Network executives, Industry creatives/investors and distributors. We are truly grateful and excited for the journey and success of the company we’re building.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
One of my favorite memory from childhood would have to be my marching band days. I played the flute and I also was a flag girl. I loved playing and marching in the band, especially around the holidays in parades… We were a 5A school so our band was huge! We won tons of competitions and I really enjoyed the music selections my band directors chose for each season. We performed a Shaft show and believed it or not, a B-52’s show! It was awesome twirling a flag to “Rock Lobster” and “Love Shack”. I later earned a band scholarship to Mississippi State University where I was a proud member of the Famous Maroon Band Flag Line. I mastered a 6ft pole, which I’m proud of because I stand tall at 5’1″. My favorite shows in my college days was the Dave Matthews Band show and the James Bond Theme show. Another memory that stands out would have to be, Girl Scouts. I’m an adult Girl Scout and I started out as a Brownie, at tender age of 7 years old. I was serious AF about it. I participated all the way until I graduated high school receiving my Silver Award, but missed out on the Gold Award. I also completed the counselor in training program at my local Girl Scout summer camp, Camp Tik-A-Witha, where I was given the camp name of “Squeaky”. It was the most cherished times of my childhood and I learned so much being a girl scout. I pull from the knowledge that I gained from all of the summers at camp, field trips and patches I earned. I kept working with the Girl Scouts during my time in the US Navy while serving overseas in Sicily Italy where I worked as a recruiter for the Girl Scouts on the military base. I recruited 15 high school age girls into the program which was something I was always proud of due to the fact that most girls drop out of girl scouts before reaching high school. It was more than arts & crafts and selling addictive cookies. It taught me about sisterhood, different cultural practices and how to use my resources wisely all while doing a good deed daily. It taught me community service and preparedness, so that I can always “be prepared”. How to respect those around me and how to just be the best person I can be.
- Website: www.rockvioletphoto.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @rockvioletmotion
- Facebook: Rock Violet Motion
- Twitter: @Rockvioletmotion
Michael D. Young, Tiana Janine Paopao, and Rock Violet Motion